Bowl for Kids’ Sake ‘strikes’ it rich for BBBS

A $50,000 goal is the best birthday present Kristin Reese could ask for.

More than 300 community members celebrated their support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge (BBBS) at Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2014 on Saturday, March 8.

Event coordinator Reese, who turns 50 this year, set the goal of $50,000 after the event garnered around $48,000 in 2013.

A record 55 teams from around the region collected donations from family, friends and coworkers in support of BBBS’ community mentoring programs in Hood River, Wasco and Klickitat counties.

Their efforts were rewarded with a bowling party complete with cake, pizza and prizes.

“Our goal this year was to raise $50,000, enough to support 40 matches for a year,” Reese said. “It is heartwarming to think about all the people who contribute to prepare our kids for a brighter future.” In all, the event grossed more than $52,000, half of the BBBSCG program’s annual budget.

“I guess it was just the buzz around town,” Reese said of the event’s growing success. “It was a lot of word of mouth, and Buster and Buddy bears,” she said, referring to Rev. Jeff Mueller’s message-“bearing” ursine statuary at Ninth and State streets.

“And just putting the word out earlier,” Reese said. “We got a lot of calls, from the blue, people wanting to bowl this year. I was a little nervous we wouldn’t have room for everybody. But we did. It’s a full house all day long. People just come from all over and they call and they’re generous and they want to help.”

“We always have a great time at Bowl for Kids’ Sake,” said Tonya Brumley of NW Natural, one of the title sponsors of the event. “We’ve had a team for several years and each year it seems to get better, more exciting and always a lot of fun!”

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is really great program for kids,” said Hannah Simons, HRV Leos co-president. “We love to do what we can to support them … and bowling with friends is a fun way to help out!”

The team from Beneventi’s Pizza took top fundraising honors with a total contribution of $7,500, followed by Hood River Construction’s team, captained by owner Tim Sweeney, which raised $5,200. Sweeney received recognition as the top individual fundraiser, with more than $4,000, through collecting donations and pledges from local contractors and suppliers.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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